SpaceEye fetches satellite images of the Earth and sets it as your desktop wallpaper

Mar 28, 2021
Updated • Apr 13, 2021
Software, Windows software

Got an eye for the stars? It never ceases to amaze me, an entire Universe before us and the mysteries it holds. You don't need a fancy degree in astronomy to appreciate the beauty of the cosmos.

SpaceEye fetches satellite images of the Earth and sets it as your desktop wallpaper

You know what else is beautiful? A blue planet, the one we live on. There are many programs and online services available which you can use to get a view of the Earth in real-time.

Do you like having those pictures as wallpapers? If so, you may like SpaceEye. This application fetches live satellite images of the Earth, and sets them as your desktop background.

You cannot select where the program gets installed to. When it is ready, you will see a large pop-up window near the notifications area. It allows you to configure the app runs, you can do this later and dismiss it for now.

SpaceEye desktop wallpaper

SpaceEye runs in the background and can be accessed from its system tray icon. Right-clicking on the icon does nothing, you'll need to left-click to access the program's interface.

You will see a dozen thumbnails here with a name indicating their geolocation. Click on an image and a progress bar will appear, i.e., SpaceEye will download the full resolution picture, and when the file is ready it is set as your desktop wallpaper. That looks pretty cool.

Now, you may ask. Twelve images, is that all we get? Yes, but these are live satellite images obtained from the GOES West, GOES East, and Himawari-8. And it gets better, SpaceEye pings the servers once every 20 minutes, to fetch the latest images. So, your wallpaper gets updated automatically with the new view.

SpaceEye updated wallpaper

Click on the three-dot menu button in the top right corner of the interface to access SpaceEye's settings. It has 2 options, the first one lets the app start with windows automatically, while the 2nd option will enable SpaceEye to fetch new versions when the program is updated.

SpaceEye interface

To close SpaceEye, hit the menu button and then click the Quit option in the bottom left corner. Do remember that while you can close the app after setting one of its images as your background, it needs to be running to update the wallpaper automatically.

There are a couple of issues that could bother people. You can't select the resolution of the wallpaper, or the monitor on which you want to use the background on. The other problem is that the program doesn't let you save the downloaded images directly. But you can head to the AppData folder and get them yourselves. The directory that you're looking for is C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\space-eye\downloaded_images.

SpaceEye tray icon

This is like the 5th app or so that I've reviewed here recently, that doesn't have a good icon for the Window Light theme. It's not a dealbreaker, but as someone who prefers Windows' default theme, I'm a bit disappointed.

SpaceEye icon light theme

SpaceEye is an open source Electron app. You can download it from the Microsoft Store, or the regular installer from the project's GitHub page, and I like having the choice between the two. The program is also available for Linux and Mac computers. While it may lack options to customize the image's resolution, the time-interval to download new photos, SpaceEye provides a user-friendly way to get some gorgeous wallpapers. If you want something more powerful in the wallpaper department, check out Lively Wallpaper.


For Windows

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3.5 based on 5 votes
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  1. Patrick said on April 17, 2021 at 4:20 am

    Lol my desktop wallpaper is just black and I probably don’t see more than 15% of it but once a week.

  2. Rush said on March 31, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    What In The World Is This?

    A darn nice App….

    Downloaded and enjoying….

    Why Thank you, Ashwin.😷

  3. owl said on March 30, 2021 at 6:49 am

    I tried it,
    Just by opening the download file, the installation is automatically executed and “installation completed” with no manual intervention possible, and the application is executed and applied as a wallpaper. I love “John’s Background Switcher”, so I can’t share it with it, and I can’t switch to other wallpapers until I quit SpaceEye.

    The “live” images from satellites are updated in about 20 minutes to an hour. Therefore, it is a static image that is not real-time, and it is not suitable for weather forecasting applications, as it does not show “how the clouds are changing” at all. In short, it is just a “wallpaper” application.
    The amount of resources measured by “Resource Monitor” was negligible, but the installation file size was large (as large as a web browser).
    Mozilla Firefox 78.9.0 ESR (x64 en-US) | 198.62 MB
    Basilisk 52.9.2021.03.17 (x64 en-US) | 110.78 MB
    Pale Moon 29.1.0 (x64 en-US) | 111.89 MB
    Brave Browser | 418.42 MB
    It was not to my liking.

    @Ashwin article clearly states that it is for “wallpaper” use, so it may be suitable for those who prefer that taste.

    Download file and installation realities:
    Download File Size: 58.79 MB (61651722 Bytes)
    Total amount of unzipped installation files: 211.41 MB
    Install Location: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Programs\space-eye

    SpaceEye: Live satellite imagery for your desktop background | GitHub
    SpaceEye is an open source desktop app which sets live, publicly available satellite imagery as your desktop background.
    New images are downloaded approximately every 20 minutes to an hour (depending on the view), giving an up-to-date, high resolution view of the Earth from space.
    Currently, the app provides 10 views of the Earth from 3 different geostationary weather satellites: Himawari-8, GOES-17 (West), and GOES-16 (East). This list will hopefully be expanded in the future.
    Special thanks to NOAA STAR and the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch
    (RAMMB) of NOAA/NESDIS (located at Colorado State University) for hosting the satellite imagery.
    If you encounter a bug or have a feature request, please create an issue on the Issues page.
    The only data collected are server logs when downloading the satellite config file.
    This config file contains metadata and links to the satellite images provided by NOAA and RAMMB.
    MIT © Michael Galliers
    Developer Profile:

    1. tom said on April 2, 2021 at 2:10 pm

      @owl, thanx for extensive details..very informative..

  4. Steve said on March 30, 2021 at 12:34 am

    More goodies. The location given for the images is wrong. They’re really at C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Packages\43181KYDronePilot.SpaceEye_vrq1rw3s6b9wj\LocalCache\Roaming\space-eye\downloaded_images

    The images are beautiful at 5424×5424–plenty of resolution! Originals from the satellites are twice that, but still impressive enough. Color depth is 24 bits.

    1. Steve said on March 30, 2021 at 12:36 am

      And each photo is stored under a unique name in the directory! This is really great. Would I like full satellite resolution? Sure. But this is still great.

  5. Steve said on March 30, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Not available for Linux. Does not have the claimed option to autoupdate. It seems to work well. Hope each downloaded image has a different name so I don’t have to visit appdata every 10 minutes to copy and rename each image.

  6. it's_flat said on March 29, 2021 at 9:20 am

    bull-crap, it’s flat

  7. Steve said on March 28, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    So many “wallpaper managers”, so many, it is hard to pick one, so I will install them all.

    I am sure nobody tried it, so either the PC explodes or WW III starts. One thing is sure, we will see explosions.

  8. Devastator said on March 28, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Not bad app, but Europe is missing.

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